Spring Has Sprung! Time to put away those winter boots and bring out the shoes and sandals. Be sure to check them over before you put them back into service for the season.

Here is what to look for:

  1. Check out the bottom of the shoe; check the condition of the treads, a sole that is worn flat will give very little traction on hard or wet surfaces. Look at the heel of the shoe, is it worn down or on an angle? Heels in this condition may cause a trip or sprain.
  2. Check where the fabric or leather of the shoe joins with the sole on the outside of the shoe, be sure the seams are holding well and the upper is firmly attached to the sole. Torn seams can rub your foot, causing blisters or callouses. In the case of sandals, be sure all the straps are in good condition and the fastener is in working order.
  3. Feel the inside of the shoe. Do you feel indents where your toes go? Check the insole, when the insole is flattened by the weight of your foot it loses its ability to act as a shock absorber. If possible, remove the insole and examine the inside of the shoe. Worn areas in the insole can cause callousing and sores on your feet. Worn or broken areas under the insole and indents in this part of the shoe means you need to replace the shoe. If the shoe under the insole is in good condition you may consider just replacing the insole.
  4. Next feel around the inside of the shoe, from the heel to the toe on both sides of the shoe with special attention to the inside seams. Worn, torn or rough spots are often the cause of callouses and blisters.
  5. Be sure you wear the right footwear for the activity you are doing. Taking a walk? Take the time to put on socks and lace up your runners. Socks will help prevent blisters and runners provide much more support and stability than sandals.

If your shoes are more than 2 years old they may not be providing you with the support and comfort they once did. Buying a new pair (and getting rid of the old ones) is a great investment in keeping you safe, active and mobile.

Shoe safety checklist